Over the last few months, we've been hearing all kinds of rumors about Intel's 10th-generation Cascade Lake-X processors. Now, Team Blue has finally lifted the veil – or at least part of it.
Intel's newest lineup of HEDT Core-X processors will be out sometime in November – with no more specific date set – and will start at just $590 (about £480, AU$880) for the Intel Core i9-10900X. That might sound like a lot, but considering that the Intel Core i9-9900X costs $989 (£989, AU$1,499), that's a pretty huge discount. It looks like the rumors were spot-on.
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Even at the high end, the Intel Core i9-10980XE, which is a 18-core, 32-thread processor, will just be $979 (about £797, AU$1,460), compared to the $1,979 (£1,899, AU$3,049) Intel Core i9-9980XE. That's more than half off the price.
These lower prices don't mean you're getting less processing power either. While core counts remain the same across the lineup, single-core turbo boosts see a bump. It's not the most sizable increase, just 200MHz for the Core i9-10980XE, but it will still result in faster performance.
And, as a bonus, all of these Intel Cascade Lake-X processors will feature support for up to 256GB of DDR4 RAM, 72 PCIe lanes and Thunderbolt 3 support - something that has been painfully missing from desktop platforms for years now.
We went ahead and listed all of the new processors down below, along with their all-core Turbo speeds, core counts and pricing:
- Core i9-10980XE: 18-cores, 36-threads | 3.8GHz Turbo | $979 (about £797, AU$1,460)
- Core i9-10940X: 14-cores, 28-threads | 4.1GHz Turbo | $784 (about £640, AU$1,170)
- Core i9-10920X: 12-cores, 24-threads | 4.3 GHz Turbo | $689 (about £560, AU$1,030)
- Core i9-10900X: 10-cores, 20-threads | 4.3GHz Turbo | $590 (about £480, AU$880)
What does this mean for me?
Unless you're the type of person that needs to have the absolute most powerful system you can get so you can benchmark it for bragging rights on internet forums, or if you're a creative professional that needs the power to render your projects, you probably don't need an HEDT chip like this.
However, Intel slashing the prices on its Core-X platform, which has always been out of reach for most consumers, is just another sign that competition is heating up in the desktop market. Even when the Intel Core i9-9980XE came out last year and showed the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX who was boss, the 2990WX was saved by its lower pricing. It doesn't look like Intel is willing to let that happen again.
Now, we don't know how these processors will perform in the real world, even if we have seen some leaked benchmarks for the Core i9-10920X, or how Threadripper 3rd Generation chips will stand up to them when they also launch in November. But, if Intel is cutting its prices to meet AMD on its turf, it won't be so easy to pick a side this time around. Plus, AMD Threadripper processors probably won't support Thunderbolt 3, and for processors meant for professionals, that could very well be a dealbreaker.
There is all kinds of information that we still don't know about these processors, but we know enough to paint a good enough picture of what to expect from Cascade Lake-X. Now we just have to wait until we can get our hands on these pro-level processors to see what they're capable of.
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